Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tree Insurance

At least, that's what we call it. 

In old neighborhoods with old homes come old trees.  Our property doesn't have any, but the neighbor to the North has three enormously old maple trees.  Two on city property and one -barely touching our lot line and hanging over our house- that isn't.  Can you guess which get pruned and which don't?  

Well, I can't say it doesn't.  Because we do.  And Friday was the third time we've paid to have it done.

So actually, it's more like, now-the-tree-shouldn't-fall-on-us-anymore insurance.  

It all started happening before I took here is part of the first limb down (also described as "a celery stick holding a bible - it's gonna give sooner or later").

Stuck in the House

Then a lot more came down.  As in 1000 lbs total.

Better Down Here than Up There

So I ducked out to see how big the limb was.


The tree company was in the neighborhood pruning the city trees.  When he came to our property, the crew supervisor noticed the 90 foot maple and the huge limb hanging over our house. 

Knowing the tree is beyond mature, we chatted about safety and management of its decline. 

April 2010, Last Pruning

When he offered to remove the celery stick (the longest and lowest limb over our house in the picture above) and part of the limb above it (also considerable weight), we knew it would solve a lot of our anxiety.  Then when he offered a cash deal, on his lunch hour, at 1/3 of the price we paid for a prune two years ago...we couldn't resist.

I admit, it's sad, because it's a big, beautiful tree full of character...but necessary, because every rainstorm/icestorm/big snowfall/windy day, i'm terrified we'll lose the front half of our house. 

Well, at least the porch and the car. 

With the first limb down, I scrambled to the street to take pictures.

Celery Gone

At this point, Steve and I breathed a big sigh of relief.  Just that one limb gone made us feel much safer.  It may be hard to see in this picture, but the tree is definitely more upright since the 1000 lbs of horizontal weight over our house is GONE.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the tree.  But I love my bedroom, porch and car, too.

Here are some action shots of the second limb being removed. 

Truck Nosed in for Crane to Avoid Wires

This is when George got excited.


This is when Steve got excited.


This is when I got nervous.


It was organized chaos.  The supervisor said he makes sure he has control of everything he can control.  The rest is up to gravity and chance.  Thankfully, we only needed gravity. 

So here is a before and after of the 2nd limb:

Before 2nd Limb
After 2nd Limb

This before and after is weak, but it's all I got:
(I need leaves in the before to add drama)

Before, April 2010
After, May 2012

All in all, we're happy.  And should we have another windstorm anytime soon, I'll be relaxed while the other neighbors can worry.

Now,'re probably wondering a few things.

Yes, our tree-owner neighbor should be paying for this (partially, if not all).  But when the house changed hands two years ago, the new owner rents it out.  So it's rather hard to communicate and manage things on a dime.  We're hoping to sort things out next week.

No, we weren't expecting to prune a tree this week.  No, we don't have a money tree in our backyard.  And no, I don't have enough items to sell on Craigslist to recover the cost. 

Yes, the sense of relief we have now is absolutely worth the price we paid.  The less over our house, the better.  So we're just chalking it up to insurance. 

Excuse me while I go shop for summer clothes in my closet. 

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